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'Come Home - The Legend of Daddy Hall' by Audrey Dwyer

Now onstage at Tarragon Theatre

Credit: Cylla von Tiedemann Pictured: Daren A. Herbert as John "Daddy" Hall

Joe Szekeres

“A mystical mystique permeates Audrey Dwyer’s ‘Come Home – the Legend of Daddy Hall,’ closing out Tarragon’s 2024 season.”

That’s the first word that came to my mind – mystique - when I sat down and studied Jawon Kang’s intriguing set design softly lit (almost darkly) by Michelle Ramsay’s terrific designs that evoke an array of varied emotions throughout the production. Musicians Spy Dénommé-Welch and Catherine Magowan provide the sound effects and sometimes underscore the scenes with soft music that heightens the tension of the moment.

Dwyer’s script about John Hall (Daren A. Herbert) is a compelling exploration of a lesser-known figure from Canadian history. It’s a story that, despite my own educational oversight, has managed to captivate attention with its profound influence on the man who (according to Audrey Dwyer’s Programme Note) spent miles travelling and searching for home.

Be prepared to delve into a wealth of historical information as the audience follows along with Hall on this journey. The script contains a lot of plot information, so pay close attention.

On the verge of death, Hall’s mind begins to flood with memories of events from his life as a husband, father, freedom fighter, and war scout. He is confronted by his ancestors and forced to live the relationships he has had with others throughout his very long life. We meet the various people with whom he came in contact.
The introduction of Billie (Troy Adams), a descendant of Hall’s, drew me into the story. Billie struggles with this acknowledgement and must help his young children do the same.

The supporting company of actors deftly tells the story with nuanced emotional connections.

As the central character, Daren A. Herbert is an engaging John Hall and becomes the reason to see the show. At times feisty and fiery and not always the most likable individual. Herbert’s Hall is also compassionate and caring.

Running time: approximately two hours with no intermission.

The production runs until June 9 at Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto. For tickets: tarragontheatre.com or call the Box Office (416) 531-1827.

TARRAGON THEATRE presents
COME HOME – THE LEGEND OF DADDY HALL by Audrey Dwyer
Directed by Mike Payette
Set Designer: Jawon Kang
Costume Designer: Christine Ting-Huan 挺歡 Urquhart
Lighting Designer: Michelle Ramsay
Musicians, Sound Designers and Composers: Unsettled Scores (Spy Dénommé-Welch & Catherine Magowan)
Fight Director: Louisa Zhu
Movement Consultant: Natasha Powell
Assistant Stage Manager: Hazel L. Moore
Stage Manager: Emilie Aubin

Performers: Troy Adams, Helen Belay, Daren A. Herbert, Nicole Joy-Fraser, Brandon Oakes, Emerjade Simms

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